NATIONAL STRATEGY TO PROMOTE EQUALITY BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN FOR THE PERIOD 2016-2020, INCLUDING MEASURES TO PROMOTE THE CREATION OF CULTURE, CULTURAL EXPRESSION AND PARTICIPATION IN CULTURAL LIFE WITHOUT GENDER DISTINCTION.
The Republic of Bulgaria pursues a consistent policy on equality between women and men, which is consistent with the national specifics and the commitments under international treaties to which it is party, including as a member state of the European Union.
The Ministry of Culture is actively involved in developing the national strategy for promoting equality between women and men for the period 2016-2020 and implements programmes that aim to create conditions to promote the access of women and men to cultural product and support creativity and cultural expression of gifted children irrespective of their gender, and changing the gender stereotypes existing in society in the field of education and culture. Two objectives of the strategy relate to the activities of the Ministry of Culture: Objective 5. Change the gender stereotypes existing in society in the field of education, culture and media and labour by eliminating gender stereotypes in the field of education, culture, labour market and the media; Objective 6. Promoting gender equality in the neighbourhood policy and development policies by supporting political, economic and social reforms in partner countries, including in view of observing human rights and promoting gender equality in the media and at the workplace.
The strategy is implemented through annual national action plans for promotion of the equality between women and men as per years, which are to be adopted by the Council of Ministers. The results are presented in an annual report on the equality between women and men, taking into account the implementation of the measures and the progress in the implemented policy.
An inter-institutional action plan to implement the final recommendations to Bulgaria made by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), said plan adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2013, is currently being implemented as well.
The policy on equality between women and men is horizontal and combines the activities of the executive branch at all levels. It is carried out by combined application of integrated (mainstreaming) approach and temporary promotion (targeted) measures, which require effective national institutional mechanism.
A strategic objective of the measure is to promote equality between women and men prevent and eliminate discrimination based on sex. The policy on equality between women and men is based on the following principles: equal opportunities for women and men in all spheres of social, economic, cultural and political life. Legal guarantees of equality and equal treatment of men and women are contained in the current Bulgarian legislation – the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, Labour Code, Social Security Code, Protection against Discrimination Act, Social Assistance Act, Employment Promotion Act, Protection against Domestic Violence Act, Civil Servants Act and a number of other specific and sectoral laws. The national strategy complies with the corresponding European strategic documents.
The national policy on equality between women and men is supported by the implementation of thematic projects financed from the state budget, European and other sources.
- MLSP, through the People with Disabilities, Equal Opportunities and Social Benefits Directorate, is the contact point for directions "Gender Equality" and "Anti-discrimination" to "Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS 2007-2013" and under the objective for "promotion of gender equality and gender mainstreaming" of the programme "Rights, equality and Citizenship 2014-2020" of the European Commission.
- In 2016 the Ministry of Economy started work on developing a strategy for the promotion of women entrepreneurship in Bulgaria from 2016 to 2023, which provides for the following priorities: Encouraging the development and establishment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned and run by women in the sectors of manufacturing intensive knowledge services; Promoting the internationalization of SMEs owned and run by women; Improving entrepreneurial and managerial knowledge and skills of women entrepreneurs; Improving access to financing for SMEs owned and run by women; Improving the awareness and institutional support for women entrepreneurs.
- the Ministry of Culture supports creative projects related to the expression and development of the creative potential of talented young artists and the participation in the cultural life without discrimination based on gender.